We woke early, hoping to do a few trails before we had to leave the park for home.
On our way for morning coffee, we came across this planted right in the middle of the lodge area:
Don’t let the photo fool you. It was a HUGE pile of scat filled with berry seeds. Avi and I quickly ran down the possible list of animals and deducted it could only be the scat of a Black Bear. So, as the paraphrased saying goes, “There be bears in them there hills!”
We hiked a ways down a trail near the lodge. It was pretty quiet except for a few birds. But the views of the sun rising against the walls of the mountains was spectacular.
We went back to the room to pack up the car for one last time. Before leaving, I took a photo of the “TV sign” in the room. The lack of tv was mentioned in the previous post. But I guess there are people who just can’t live without one. So sad.
Avi and I intended to drive down to the Rio Grande Village, hoping to hike the Dugout Wells trail (water generally = birds). But this time the convertible was our major disadvantage.
The Parks Service decided to repave the road we needed to drive on. This basically consisted of dumping loose gravel on it and allowing vehicular movement to (eventually) set it into the underlayment of asphalt.
Even though the signs said 20 miles per hour, those SUV drivers figured they could go 40, kicking up the loose gravel. Not only was the car in danger of being damaged, so were our heads. So we reluctantly turned back after a few miles.
We DID visit the Fossil Bone Exhibit on our way out of the park. You look out on a huge, arid desert, but find out it all used to be wetlands, supporting a wide variety of prehistoric mammals.
Also on our way out of the park we had a lovely close encounter with a tarantula, warming itself on the road.
And once we left the park we found a large colony of Prairie Dogs along the road. We took quite a few photos, but only a few came out well.
Of course, every trip has its final bird. Ours was a giant Roadrunner in Fort Stockton, TX. I believe his name is Paesano Pete.
Our Southwest Boogie had come to an end and we had to drive back to San Antonio. Avi had work the next day and I had to get back to real life. It was a great trip and our little Mazda Miata functioned above and beyond.
Next year we’re thinking of going up through Colorado and Utah. But before then, I have a weekend in Guadalajara, Mexico to report on and our upcoming March trip to bird the island of Cuba should be great!
Until then, I leave you with a photo of the Miata in the Chihuahuan desert: